By K.B. Sherman, Contributing Writer
Westborough – On Aug. 7, communities across the United States commemorated “Purple Heart Day.” This prestigious award, originated by General George Washington on Aug. 7, 1782, during the Revolutionary War, is awarded for “exceptionally meritorious conduct in performing outstanding services” and today is awarded to any member of the U.S. Armed Forces that has been wounded, died as a result of wounds received in battle, or has died in captivity while a prisoner of war. The award is now commemorated each year on the anniversary of its creation.
The town of Westborough joined in honoring those who have been awarded a Purple Heart with a ceremony held at a spot on Turnpike Road (Route 9 east) near the Northborough/Westborough town line. A special sign was placed in this spot under an “Entering Westborough” sign that acknowledges that Westborough is now a “Purple Heart Town.”
The ceremony, which was organized by the Westborough Board of Selectmen, Adam Costello, Central MA Veterans Agent, and Kenneth Ferrera, veterans’ service officer for Westborough, was attended by veterans who have served in conflicts ranging from World War II through Desert Storm. Scouts from Westborough Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts read aloud the history of the medal and its meaning. State representatives Danielle Gregiore (D-Marlborough) and Carolyn Dykema (D-Hopkinton) also attended to present the town with a certificate from the state’s House of Representatives.
Per its webpage, the organization now known as the Military Order of the Purple Heart of the U.S.A. Inc., (MOPH) was formed in 1932 for the protection and mutual interest of all combat wounded veterans and active duty men and women who have received the decoration. Chartered by the Congress, the MOPH is unique among veteran service organizations in that all its members were wounded in combat. Most importantly, through veterans’ services, they provide comfort and assistance to all veterans and their families, especially those requiring claims assistance with the Veterans Administration, those who are homeless, and those requiring employment assistance.
For more information visit www.purpleheart.org.